Royals Pitchers Exceeding Preseason Expectations
By Mike Courson
The Royals were supposed to be unable to repeat due to weak starting pitching, according to many pundits and projection systems. Instead, the rotation has been a strength in April.
How does Dayton Moore do it? He’s gambled on players like Kendrys Morales and Chris Young, both of whom paid off big in 2016. We’ve questioned trades that brought in players like Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Wade Davis. After winning a world championship, Moore rolled the dice again to sign Ian Kennedy to a five-year, $70-millon contract. When will we fans learn to stop questioning Moore?
The season is young and Kennedy’s contract is still in its infancy, so there is no way to know if the move will be a good one in the long run. It seems premature to toot our horns on Ian Kennedy’s behalf after two good outings, but the former San Diego Padre, Arizona Diamondback, and New York Yankee pitcher has been outstanding so far this sesson.
Kennedy truly was an unknown commodity by the numbers. He went 21-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 2011, but that was five years ago. From 2012 through 2015, he posted a meager 51-60 record. While wins/losses can be attributed to a team, his best ERA in that stretch was 3.63 in 2014. He moved back up to 4.28 playing in San Diego in 2015.
Through two starts in 2016, Kennedy ranks No. 2 in the American League with a 0.66 ERA. Only Detroit’s Jordan Zimmerman is better without an earned run this season in his two starts. Kennedy actually has better numbers across the board – he’s allowed seven hits to Zimmerman’s eight, walked three to Zimmerman’s five, and has two more outs under his belt. The difference is one bad pitch that resulted in a Jose Altuve home run in the Houston series. By the way, Kennedy has a 0.92 ERA in his last three starts in that ballpark.
Next: Kennedy Isn't The Only Pitching Success Story